Cubs manager Ross ejected in 5-0 loss to Padres
As a former catcher, David Ross knows something about the strike zone.
So it was hardly a surprise that Ross -- after watching home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi blow call after call after call early on in the Cubs' 5-0 loss at San Diego -- was ejected in the top of the second inning.
Cuzzi's uber-wide strike zone seemed to only benefit Padres starter Blake Snell, who struck out five of the first eight batters he faced.
The first pitch to Seiya Suzuki in the first inning was well off the plate but called a strike, and Suzuki then struck out on a borderline 97-mph four-seam fastball. Catcher Miguel Amaya struck out in the second inning on a curveball that wasn't close.
Ross finally had enough in the bottom of the second after Kyle Hendricks' second pitch to Gary Sanchez was called a ball. It was actually the correct call, but Cuzzi looked for a split-second like he was going to say it was a strike.
Seconds later, Ross was ejected for the 12th time in his managerial career. Ross came out of the dugout and had a spirited discussion with Cuzzi, spreading his hands numerous times to apparently show the veteran ump just how much he was blowing previous calls.
"(Snell's) got a high walk rate to righties and there were just some balls that weren't strikes called strikes on the outer edge," Ross told reporters. "Tried to voice that a little bit. Probably got a little too aggressive with it."
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the ejection didn't have the desired effect as Sanchez cranked a 2-run homer. Matt Carpenter and Ha-Seong Kim followed with back-to-back doubles to give San Diego a 3-0 lead.
Hendricks gave up another run in the third, but settled down and retired his final 10 batters. He allowed 4 runs on 6 hits while striking out four in 6 innings.
"Kyle threw great," Ross said. "Got to watch a lot of it on the TV. Settled in nicely. One bad inning really."
Snell ended up striking out eight while giving up just 2 hits and walking three in 6 innings. The lefty had a 5.40 ERA after his first 9 starts, but has allowed just 1 earned run in his last 3 (17 innings).
The Cubs managed just 4 hits, all singles.
Suzuki struck out eight times and was 0-for-15 in the four-game series, while Patrick Wisdom went 1-for-12.
The Cubs (26-33) continue their 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Angels that begins Tuesday.